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Favorite Quotes of 2011

December 29, 2011
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Here are some of David Raths' favorite HIT related quotes of 2011

At the end of each year, I like to look back through stories I have written and pull out a handful of unrelated quotes that caught my attention at the time I was doing the reporting. Brought together, they may provide a brief snapshot of the year in review or at least provoke a few thoughts. Enjoy!

“It was clearly a moonshot. ONC was an agency of 35 people who had never written a regulation or run a grant program and I hadn't either.”

--David Blumenthal, M.D., former national coordinator for health information technology, recalling his arrival in Washington, D.C.

“We have to frame this so that no hospital CIO has to make a choice between accountable care and meaningful use. We should make meaningful use the roadmap they follow.”

--Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology

“There were arguments being made that these were just toys. It was a risk. I told our CEO he should fire me if this doesn't work.”

--Dale Potter, chief information officer at the Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, Canada, talking about his widespread iPad deployment.


“On the clinical side, I can’t even begin to count all the islands of data. I call it the archipelago.”

--Skip Valusek, director of clinical informatics at three-hospital HealthEast in St. Paul, Minn.

“Most clinicians are not quantitative data people. They like working with patients, not poring over data. They want to look at a report for five minutes, see something that needs correcting and move on.”

--Sam VanNorman, manager of performance reporting and analysis at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis

“It has taken something as big as this HITECH Act to get us to start developing standards. Now it’s like we are all starting to program in HTML for the day they turn the Internet on, instead of building with whatever we had, as we used to do.”

--Kevin Larsen, M.D., CMIO, Hennepin County Medical Center

 “Public health has been seeking to engage the larger health community on population health for decades. [Meaningful use] is a tremendous opportunity to engage in a more coordinated way.”

-- Bill Brand, director of programs for the Public Health Informatics Institute in Decatur, Ga.

“It’s ironic that a Republican-controlled legislature that is against most forms of regulation would pass something like this unanimously. This is pretty heavy-handed.”

-- Michael Silhol, an attorney in the healthcare practice group of Haynes and Boone LLP 
 Dallas, talking about Texas’ HB 300, which among other things, requires ongoing employee training about laws concerning protected health information (PHI) and increases penalties for the wrongful disclosure of PHI.


“I think our generation may see things a little differently, but every hospital CIO has to be prepared to move rapidly on getting their organization ready for meaningful use, health reform, and migrating to ICD-10. No one is standing still.”

-- Jason DeSantis, 33-year-old division chief information officer of University Hospitals in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

“This is a humongous opportunity for innovation. I think someone in this room is going to create the Google, the Amazon or the Facebook of health care.

-- Todd Park, chief technology officer for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, speaking to a healthcare-focused conference put on by students at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.